Player’s Primer

This ‘season’ of Shadowrun features a new list of characters (to go along with some new players) and for the first time in a long time, we’ll be returning to the shadows of Seattle, UCAS.

The Campaign Website

I’ll be using the campaign site to keep the ball running, and keep a historical record as we go. A log of adventures will be kept in the Campaign Log. I’ll be offering a standard 2 Karma reward every week for whomever writes up the previous adventure’s notes.

In some cases, things may happen during downtime that will be posted here for your information (some of it might even be relevant to your jobs… wouldn’t that be nice?) Sometimes news of your exploits may make it out to the public/shadow communities. In any case these notes will be posted in the News Feed.

The Campaign Map will also be regularly updated with information pertinent to the campaign. Where things happened, important locations, etc.

Character Rules

Shadowrun inherently supports the notion of character trees. It also makes character generation a monumental task for the novice player and an opportunity to unbalance play (unwittingly) for the savvy one. A mix of players can result in a party where certain players, by the decisions they made during character creation, where a hacker acts three times (physically) in a firefight while the street samurai only acts once. While this may present some opportunities for interesting role-playing, the trend in gaming (especially with the advent of the dreaded 4th Edition of Dungeons and Dragons) is to make the party balanced in combat situations. Believe it or not, this can be accomplished in Shadowrun. Moreover, if a player dislikes their character, it is easy enough to switch out with another character.

The Pile

A list of different characters have been pre-generated. Players may pick any one of the characters listed in ‘The Pile’ to play. The catch is that they have limited information when selecting a character. A picture, the character’s roles, and buzz about the character in the shadow community are all available. Players can feel free to swap out characters between runs. To facilitate this, runs will be designed to be completed in one – or perhaps two – sessions each. The GM may even recommend that someone pick up a particular type of character to match the run. The GM reserves the right to add additional characters to pile at any time.

The Vault

Once a player selects a character in the pile, the character is considered part of the vault. No other player may use that character for as long as they designate that character as part of their vault. A player can, if they are not able to make a gaming session, leave their character in the vault, preventing another player from using that character. In addition, a character can leave their character in the vault and play an alternate character. This allows players to try alternate characters, while “protecting” their main character. Each player may have only one character in the vault at a time.

Extra Karma

Any character in the vault that does not participate on a run gains half-karma for the adventure. This helps players who must miss a session and encourages players to try a different character from time to time.


We’ll be using the alternate ‘Faction’ rules again this season. As PCs deal with faction-aligned NPCs they may develop good or bad standing with many of the underworld organizations. These standings will affect their ability to interact with those groups.

At the end of each adventure, runners will check their Rep with each Faction against the chart below. If their rep is high enough, they may obtain a favor useable one time (and one time only!) from any one contact from that Faction. Each favor can only be earned once per Faction Rep, even if the player loses Rep and then later gains enough Rep to qualify for the reward a second time. If you dip into negative Rep, there are penalties associated with that Faction as well.

In game play, characters will gain bonus dice or suffer dice pool penalties for each point (positive or negative) of faction they have for social tests dealing with NPCs belonging to those groups. Characters can only gain or lose standing through game play.

Faction RepFavor Gained
2Item Favor – 10% Discount on any single item obtained from this Faction
4Item Favor – 20% Discount on any single item obtained from this Faction
5Item Favor – 30% Discount on any single item obtained from this Faction
-2Contacts from this Faction will always charge the runner for information.
-4Contacts from this Faction will no longer obtain gear for the runner, and will charge double for any information they provide.
-5Contacts from this Faction will no longer provide the runner with any information.